Public invited to watch SMC elections officials process ballots

in Community

Beginning Tuesday, staff in the San Mateo County Registration & Elections Division will begin processing mail-in ballots for the Nov. 3 Presidential election, and members of the public are invited to observe the process in person.

Mailed ballots can begin to be opened by elections officials 29 days before Election Day. Ballot processing will occur daily, Monday through Friday from 5 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and 2 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. or until all ballots are processed for the day, until the official canvass is complete, election officials said.

“Those interested in observing the process may come to the Registration & Elections Division office at 40 Tower Road, San Mateo at any time, or make prior arrangements by contacting Elections Supervisor Michael Lui at 650.312.5238 or,” according to elections officials.

They add, “For each ballot, an election official will compare the voter’s signature on the outside of the envelope to the signature on the voter’s original registration application or other updated signatures on file. The ballot is separated from the envelope to preserve secrecy. The envelope is saved for the mandatory retention period, and the ballot is digitally scanned. The tabulation of the scanned ballots will not be reported until the close of voting at 8 p.m. on Election Day.”

Voters can verify that Registration & Elections Division received their voted ballot by using the “My Election Info” link at

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